Quarterback (2): Mitchell Trubisky, Chase Daniel
As the Bears move toward the end of their preseason tune-ups, there is some worry surrounding backup quarterback spot. It’s important to remember just that though — it is a backup. Chase Daniel knows the system well. He has had some rough moments during the preseason, but those struggles have been due more to his supporting cast. In the two games he played last season, he was able to win one and keep the other one a close affair.
Running Back (3): Tarik Cohen, Mike Davis, David Montgomery
This will be a fun group to watch. Cohen is one of those players you cannot keep off the field because of the issues he creates for the defense. Davis will surprise many with the talent he brings to the offensive group. The most intriguing piece is rookie RB Montgomery. In his short time during the preseason, he showed off more of what made him so effective in college. He is a shifty runner with great vision and patience.
Fullback (1): Ryan Nall
Yes, you read this one right. Nagy is going to find a way to get “the best talent” on this roster. Nall has shown great vision so far. The Bears will need a bigger body running back later in the season, so Nall’s size also plays to his advantage. He was used as a fullback during a training game and at select points in games as well.
Wide Receiver (6): Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, Cordarelle Patterson, Riley Ridley, Javon Wims
What a turnaround for this positional group from just a few years ago. Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy deserve a ton of credit for putting the receiving corps together. This could be the season we see something crazy in Chicago. Could we see two wide receivers have 1,000 yards? We all know what the top three guys can do. It will be interesting to see what Patterson will bring as another gadget player. Ridley is very skilled as a route runner for a rookie. As for Wims, he earned this spot during training camp and preseason games. He has been all over the field, catching seemingly everything thrown his way.
Tight End (4): Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, Ben Braunecker, Bradley Sowell
If this group stays healthy, the Bears could see some decent production out of the tight end position. Burton is a swiss army knife that plenty of teams would love to have. Shaheen is a big target in the red zone. Braunecker has proven to be useful on special teams. The player to watch the most at this position will be Sowell, who made the most surprising offseason positional change. His only setback is that he is still learning the position, but he could prove to be a nice addition to the blocking game on the edge.
Offensive Line (8): Charles Leno, James Daniels, Cody Whitehair, Bobby Massie, Kyle Long, Ted Larsen, Alex Bars, Rashaad Coward
The offensive line is on a mission to continue what they started last season. The only variation will be a few small changes behind the starters. Ted Larsen comes back to the team after some time away from Chicago. Bars is impressing as an undrafted rookie. One question that remains up in the air is Coward’s health. Is he alright after that injury during the preseason?
Defensive Line (6): Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Bilal Nichols, Roy Robertson-Harris, Jonathan Bullard, Nick Williams
The main crew upfront is nothing to mess with. They are the core reason why this defense is so successful. Adding another body in Nick Williams to the mix will help out depth-wise. During the preseason, he was able to make several plays. We will need to see more of an impact from Bullard as well this season.
Outside Linebacker (6): Khalil Mack, Leonard Floyd, Aaron Lynch, Isaiah Irving, Kylie Fitts, James Vaughters
This group stays nearly the same as last season, but James Vaughters will add a bit more depth. His performance during preseason games showed that you can never have enough depth when it comes to pressuring the quarterback.
Inside Linebacker (4): Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith, Nick Kwiatkowski, Joel Iyiegbuniwe
There is no better starting combination at the inside spot in the whole NFL. The question mark comes after those players. Kwiatkowski is a fine player if you leave him inside the box coming up the middle. As for Iyiegbuniwe, he is still developing in his second season. However, he does have some speed that allows him to move around the middle of the field in addition to being a solid tackler.
Cornerback (5): Kyle Fuller, Prince Amukamara, Buster Skrine, Kevin Toliver, Duke Shelley
Rookie Duke Shelley has made a name for himself during preseason action. He has looked solid in coverage at times but really made a mark on special teams. That versatility will help other players on this team be more positionally-focused.
Safety (5): Eddie Jackson, Haha Clinton-Dix, Deon Bush, Sherrick McManis, DeAndre Houston-Carson
This positional group is pretty easy to predict. The two additions are Clinton-Dix and McManis. This was a little bit of a quiet move for Sherrick McManis, but he is a veteran that is just too important all over the field.
Specialists (3): Patrick Scales, Pat O’Donnell, Eddy Pineiro
After bringing in a carousel of kickers to start the offseason, only one stands tall walking into the season. That man is “Eddy P,” who was not even part of the initial group brought in to compete for the kicking job. It was the trade with Oakland (thanks again, Gruden!) that brought him to Chicago. His 58-yard preseason field goal really locked in his spot, at least for now.
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